History Book Reviews (page 5)

THEIR LAST FULL MEASURE by Joseph Wheelan
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"Wheelan has combed entire libraries to make this thoroughly readable, lucid survey. Well-practiced buffs will welcome the book, but novices can approach it without much background knowledge, too."
First-rate study of the often overlooked closing months of the Civil War, which, though the impending end was visible, saw some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 31, 2015

"A mostly entertaining story of an unconventional family and their shared trait of flouting convention across generations."
The story of renowned diplomat, composer, novelist and painter Lord Gerald Berners and his "cultivated, artistic milieu." Read full book review >

RAVENSBRÜCK by Sarah Helm
HISTORY
Released: March 31, 2015

"Not just another tale of concentration camp terrors, Helm delivers a gripping story of the women who outlasted them and had the strength to share with the author and us 60 years later."
Just when you thought you knew all about the Holocaust camps, Helm (A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII, 2006) chronicles the history of this much-ignored site for women.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 31, 2015

"An entertaining retelling of a forgotten story, written for political junkies who enjoy the naughty and the nice."
A journalist and the CEO of an education advisory company unite to tell the story of the famous first cousins who occupied very different positions on the continuum of political belief. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 31, 2015

"Generally sympathetic to its subject and well-written but to be consulted only after William Kahrl's Water and Power (1982) and Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert (1986)."
Dutiful story of a man who, not having finished high school, "let alone set foot in an engineering class," designed a metropolitan water system that is still in use today. Read full book review >

RESCUE AT LOS BAÑOS by Bruce Henderson
HISTORY
Released: March 31, 2015

"A dramatic story of bravery in which individual personal accounts converge with the waging of war for a riveting history."
Before the colors fade and history replaces memory, Henderson (Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War, 2010, etc.) lucidly narrates a World War II story of captured civilians and their resolute rescuers.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"An impressive debut offering explanations based on coherence between people, cases and the events they adjudicated."
Center for American Progress senior constitutional policy analyst Millhiser assesses the damage caused by the Supreme Court to the Constitution, government and the citizens whose rights have repeatedly been curtailed or abrogated in arbitrary, capricious, bigoted and arrogant proceedings. Read full book review >
THE PORCELAIN THIEF by Huan Hsu
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"Some first-rate detective work sometimes obscured by excessively thick historical shrubbery."
A former journalist and current professor searches for the rare porcelain buried by his great-great-grandfather in 1938, when Japanese invaders approached his property in Xingang, China. Read full book review >
FOOD & COOKING
Released: March 24, 2015

"A fine addition to the single-issue science genre."
"From tropical rain forests to alpine meadows and arctic tundra, seed plants dominate landscapes and define ecosystems." In fact, they make up more than 90 percent of land flora. Read full book review >
BOSWELL'S ENLIGHTENMENT by Robert Zaretsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 23, 2015

"This wonderful rendering of Boswell digs deep into his probing, enquiring life and the fast friends he made at every turn."
James Boswell (1740-1795) comes to life in Zaretsky's (French History/Univ. of Houston; A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning, 2013) recounting of his European grand tour in the mid-18th-century.Read full book review >
GALILEO'S TELESCOPE by Massimo Bucciantini
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 23, 2015

"This erudite work will take some effort to follow and understand, but it's well-worth the effort for a glimpse into the world-shattering effect of the birth of the telescope."
Italian professors of the history of science Bucciantini (Univ. of Siena), Camerota (Univ. of Cagliari) and Giudice (Univ. of Bergamo) explore the geographical dispersion of the telescope and the radical change its "new sky" produced. Read full book review >
COUNTRY SOUL by Charles L. Hughes
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: March 23, 2015

"An essential piece of Southern musical history."
Exploration of the racial politics that defined the country and soul music scenes during the 1960s and '70s. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >